High School Pathway Planning

TVDSB Student Pathways to Success:
Supporting Individual Pathway Planning

Your high school journey is an exciting time full of change, growth, and possibility. You will learn about yourself and the world around you while developing knowledge and skills that will prepare you for life during and after high school. The feature buttons below will help you navigate high school at each stage of your journey. You will be able to explore the variety of pathways and opportunities available to you as well as the support systems in place to help you along the way.

Your Support System

We want you to know that you are not alone, and that help is available should you need it. Below you will find a list of TVDSB staff that can help you in a variety of ways. No matter what you need help with, connecting with an adult that you are comfortable with begins the process of providing you with the best support for your situation.


Learning Support Teacher
  • assist you with goal setting, self-advocacy, and developing learning skills
  • help you (those with an IEP) to understand their individual learner profile (e.g., strengths, needs, accommodations, modifications)
  • support your learning by working with your classroom teachers
  • listen when you need to talk to someone


Multilingual Learner Teacher
  • assist you with goal setting, self-advocacy, and the development of language acquisition
  • work with your classroom teacher to provide accommodations if necessary
  • work with Youth Settlement Specialists to ensure you and your family receive settlement support
  • arrange for interpretation for family communication
  • offer strategies and support to help develop your learning skills
  • listen when you need to talk to someone

Student Success Teacher
  • collaborate with your classroom teachers to support your learning
  • provide a variety of programs and resources to support your learning
  • listen when you need to talk to someone
  • offer strategies and support to help develop your learning skills

Caring Adult
  • a caring adult is any staff member or teacher you feel comfortable speaking with (teacher, coach, club advisor, guidance counsellor, principal, etc.)
  • they listen when you need to talk to someone
  • guide you to the appropriate staff member for additional support if required
  • help you with coursework and learning skills

Principal/ Vice-Principal
  • assist and problem-solve with students and parents/guardians
  • listen when you need to talk to someone
  • ensure a safe and inclusive learning environment and facility
  • mediate conflict with peers and staff
  • Connect you and/or your family with community resources/agencies

Guidance Counselor
  • support your academic, career, and personal development including course selection and planning
  • listen when you need to talk to someone
  • support your mental health & well-being which may include a referral for additional support
  • connect you and/or you family with community resources/agencies
  • facilitate your Grade 8 to 9 transitions and transitions to postsecondary destinations or the world of work
  • offer strategies and support to help develop your learning skills
  • some schools have dedicated guidance counselors for FNMI and ML students

 Social Worker
  • provide counseling
  • share information about and connect you to services/programs particular to mental health & well-being
  • act as attendance counselors to support consistent, regular attendance if required

 FNMI Grad Coach

Indigenous Student Success Teacher

TVDSB - Cares Anonymous Reporting 
The purpose of the TVDSBCares site is to let a caring adult at your school know about concerns regarding a friend/classmate/student or situation. You may be worried because you see a change in someone’s mood, behaviour, or coping strategies as a result of a personal loss, bullying or other life issues.

Please note: TVDSBCares is a tool for parents and students to advise staff of non-emergency incidents of bullying and other school safety issues. It is not monitored on a 24 / 7 basis. In case of an emergency, call 911.


Stay Informed

myBlueprint Education Planner

myBlueprint is an online tool available to all TVDSB students (Grades 7-12), teachers and parent/guardian to: investigate and research educational options for all pathways (apprenticeship, work, college and university), discover learning styles, explore career interest surveys, plan secondary school courses, set short-term and long-term goals, build resumes and much more. 

Go to myBlueprint

French Immersion

Students are taught French as a subject, and French serves as the language of instruction in two or more other subjects. At the secondary level, there are academic and applied courses in French Immersion in Grades 9 and 10, and university preparation and open courses in Grades 11 and 12. In the French Immersion program, students accumulate ten credits in French: four are for FSL courses; six are for other subjects in which French is the language of instruction. Schools may grant a certificate in French Immersion if the student fulfills these requirements. 

Generally, the program a student selects at the secondary school level is determined by the total number of hours of French instruction accumulated by the end of Grade 8 (a minimum of 600 for Core French, a minimum of 1260 for Extended French, and a minimum of 3800 for French Immersion).

One FSL credit (110 hours) from any of the three programs is compulsory for secondary school graduation. 

For subjects other than FSL that are taught in French in an Extended French or French Immersion program, the expectations in each course are those outlined in the English-language curriculum policy documents. It is recognized that expectations in these subjects may need to be adapted to meet the needs of students who are studying the subjects in French instead of in English. (Excerpt from: The Ontario Curriculum, Grades 9 to 12:  French as a Second Language -- Core, Extended, and Immersion, 2014.)

Go to French Immersion

Special Education

Our primary goal is to meet students’ needs in their own classrooms in their home school. Occasionally, some students need the support of specialized programs and services which are offered at another location. Information for parents, such as the Parent’s Guide to the Identification Placement and Review Process and the Individual Education Plan can be obtained at the school, or by calling the Special Education Department or on our website.

Go to Special Education

Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC)

By regulation, each school board has a Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC), whose mandate it is to provide advice and recommendations on all issues related to Special Education. The list of members and the agencies they represent can be found on our website.

Go to Special Education Advisory Committee

Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) 

Students enrolled in Ontario secondary schools may have their skills and knowledge outside the classroom evaluated against provincial curriculum policy documents in order to earn credits towards the secondary school diploma. PLAR procedures are carried out by the system and the school under the direction of the school principal.


Students have the option to obtain a variety of credits online through the Virtual Academy.

Go to eLearning

Ontario Student Record (OSR)

Each student’s record (OSR) is kept at the student’s home school and follows the student when that student changes schools. The OSR contains the Ontario Student Transcript (OST) and other notes, assessment, evaluations and records made while the student attends elementary and secondary school. The OSR is available for adult students, parent/guardian of minor students, teaching staff and administration.

Full Disclosure

If a student withdraws from a Grade 11 or 12 course after 5 instructional days following the issue of the first provincial report card (mid-term), the withdrawal and percentage grade must be recorded on the OST.

Course Outline
Course outlines are provided to students during the first week of classes. Copies of course outlines are available through the main office at each school.
Curriculum Policy Documents
All curriculum policy documents are available at the Ontario Ministry of Education website or through the school principal.
A prerequisite is a course that students must complete prior to attempting a course of the next year level.  corequisite is a course that must be taken at the same time as another course.

Substitution of Compulsory Credits 

In unique circumstances, the principal of a school may replace up to three of the compulsory credit requirements in order to meet an individual student’s need.

English as a Second Language (ESL) and English Literacy Development (ELD) 

These programs meet the needs of English language learners (ELLs) whose first language is not English, or is a form of English significantly different from the English taught in Ontario schools. 

Go to English Language Learners

Experiential Learning

Specialist High Skills Major Program (SHSM)
The SHSM is a ministry-approved specialized program that allows students to focus their learning on a specific sector while meeting the requirements for the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD). The SHSM enables students to customize their secondary school experience to suit their interests and talents, and  prepare for a successful post-secondary transition to apprenticeship, college, university or the workforce, while meeting the requirements of the Ontario Secondary School Diploma.

Why Pursue A Specialist High Skills Major?

Through the SHSM, Ontario secondary school students are given more opportunities to earn industry recognized certifications, participate in reach ahead activities and cooperative education to match their individual goals and interests. Students are recognized as having achieved a SHSM in a specific area with a RED seal on their OSSD and a special transcript listing certifications and skills to which they have been exposed.

Go toTVDSB.ca/SHSM to see which schools offer SHSM.

To learn more about these exciting opportunities see your Guidance department.

School College to Work Programs/Dual Credits

What is it?

Students can participate in post-secondary courses and/or apprenticeship training, earning dual credits that count towards both their high school diploma and their post-secondary diploma, degree or apprenticeship certification.

Who’s it for?

Students who need learning opportunities outside of high school and who would benefit from a college or apprenticeship experience.

How it helps

Students have the opportunity to:

  • Earn high school credits while studying at a local college or taking apprenticeship training
  • Gain experience that will help them with their post-secondary education or apprenticeship
  • Get a head start on learning and training for their future careers
Day Away Dual Credits

Day Away Dual Credits allow students to attend college one day a week to earn college credits in addition to high school credits. Each successfully completed college credit also results in the awarding of a high school credit which can be used toward completion of the OSSD. Currently, TVDSB has day away programs at Fanshawe, Lambton and Conestoga colleges.

Go to Dual Credits Day Away Programs

School Within a College (SWAC)

The School Within A College program allows students to complete high school by attending school on campus at college. These students also enroll in college dual credits. Each successfully completed college credit also results in the awarding of a high school credit which can be used toward completion of the OSSD. Currently, TVDSB has a SWAC program at Fanshawe College, London, St. Thomas, and Woodstock, as well as Lambton College.

*First Nations, Métis, Inuit SWAC programs also available.

Go to School Within A College

Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP)

What is the Ontario Youth ApprenticeshipProgram (OYAP)?

The Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP) is a School to Work program that opens the door for students to explore and work in apprenticeship occupations starting in Grade 11 or Grade 12 through the Cooperative Education program.

The goals of OYAP are to:

  • Provide students with the opportunity to start training in a skilled trade while completing the requirements for an Ontario Secondary School Diploma
  • Enable students to make the school to work transition by direct entry into apprenticeship training
  • Provide employers with the opportunity to train the skilled workers they require
  • Provide a viable solution to address the problem of skilled tradespeople shortages in general, and specifically the lack of young people joining the trades

Why Apply? 

Applying for the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program could be the first step in beginning a rewarding career in the skilled trades.

  • OYAP is both a demanding and smart choice if you wish to jump-start your career. Jobs in the skilled trades pay well and challenge your intellect and creativity.
  • Apprenticeships are often the first step in a career path that can lead to supervisory, administrative or management positions, or to a self-employed business career.
  • Students who participate in OYAP will be trained in a specific set of skills leading to a registered apprenticeship program and will be able to obtain apprenticeship hours and high school credits at the same time.

Go to Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program 

Cooperative Education (COOP)
  • Cooperative Education is a planned learning experience through which students can earn credits.
  • Classroom theory and workplace experiences allow students to apply and refine the knowledge and skills acquired in a related course.
  • The classroom component is comprised of preplacement and integration activities.
  • The personalized placement component takes place in the workplace where students get hands-on experience exploring an occupation.
  • Cooperative Education is appropriate for all students who are heading to university, college, apprenticeship or the workplace. It is offered in all subject areas and course types.
Other Forms of Experiential Learning
  • Job Shadowing — a one-on-one observation of a worker at a place of employment for up to three days
  • Job Twinning — a one-on-one observation of a cooperative education student at a place of employment for up to three days
  • Work Experience — a planned learning opportunity within a course which allows students a relatively short-term work experience, usually of one or two weeks at a time, for a total of up to four weeks
  • Work Internship — combines workplace training with a school-based program to prepare students for direct entry into the workforce. Ask about the Thames Valley District School Board Destinations programs.
School Within A University (SWAU) 

The School Within A University program allows students experiencing changes and challenges in life to complete secondary school by attending school on campus at Western University in London, Ontario. These students also enroll tuition free in one first year university course.

Go to School Within A University

Student Success: Reaching Every Student

Each teenager has their own unique interests, goals and strengths. Every student should have the same opportunity to succeed and graduate from secondary school. TVDSB schools are working with you to improve the learning experience for all students.

We share a common goal to help all students build a promising future for themselves. We are responding by focusing on:

  • Quality course options and programs inside and outside of the classroom, leading to all destinations (apprenticeship, college, community, employment, and university)
  • Literacy and numeracy skills in all subject areas
  • One-on-one support when students need extra help
  • Building community, diversity, culture, safety, and caring in all schools

There is a Student Success Team in every secondary school. Members of this team include the Principal, the Head of Guidance, the Head of Special Education, the Student Success Teacher, and other staff members as appropriate to the school (e.g. Cooperative Education Teacher, Credit Recovery Teacher, etc.). The Student Success Teams ensure a smooth and successful transition from Grade 8 to Grade 9 for all students.

The Grade 8/9 Transition Program may include:

  • Assigning a teacher or other educator to provide support during the transition years
  • Creating a student profile that highlights the student’s strengths, needs and interests
  • Developing customized Grade 9 timetables
  • Tailoring strategies and interventions based on each school’s unique advantages

Student Success Teams continue to monitor the progress of students throughout their time at secondary school, setting and revisiting career life goals with students and providing support as needed to maximize student opportunities and achievement.

All About Me

Who am I?

  • How would I describe myself right now (strengths, interests, values)?
  • How can I connect who I am to the choices I make?

What are my opportunities?

  • What opportunities should I try while I’m in school?

Who do I want to become?

  • What are my goals now and for the near future?
  • Where can I find information about my initial post-secondary destination?

What is my plan for achieving my goals?

  • How do I develop and review my plan?
  • Who can support me in achieving my goals?

Is apprenticeship for you? Check out the websites below to learn more about the apprenticeship pathway.

Is college for you? Check out the websites below to learn more about the college pathway.


Is community training for you? Check out the websites below to learn more about the community training pathway.


> Programs

> Special Education


Is on-the-job training for you? Check out the websites below to learn more about the on-the-job training and employment pathway.


Is university for you? Check out the websites below to learn more about the university pathway.


Specialty Programs:

Other Opportunities:

2023-2024 course selection guide cover image

All information within this print document is provided in an accessible and translatable format within the links on this webpage.

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